I've been reading everyone's posts and have loved to get to know more about my favorite bloggers.
Always treat the secretary and custodian with respect and courtesy. Manners go a long way when dealing with people you work with and in this case when you need something, chances are you will need help from one of these two people. Stay on their good sides and life will be MUCH better. Robyn and I always go in together on gifts for our secretary and custodian for Christmas and End of School. We also bring the secretary flowers for the start of the school year, every year. We both love her and she is definitely one of my school moms. She loves our kids, knows what is going on in our lives, and gives us a ton of motherly advice.
Start each day with a smile because your attitude will reflect your student's attitude. What I mean is that when you greet your students in the hallway each morning do it with a smile. Even if you had no sleep because your infant was up all night, you had a horrible ride into school, or you realize your shoes don't match, let the students know you are happy to be at school and you are happy THEY are at school with you. Sometimes you are the only positive person in his/her life and you need to make them feel safe, secure, and welcome.
Get to know the parents right away. Start off the year right by introducing yourself to parents; whether it be through open house, parent night, a note home, or a phone call. Parents talk and you'd rather have them talk about how smart, welcoming, and nice you were than what a stranger you've been. This year I am considering a class Facebook page for parent/teacher communication. I would have the parents sign a waver to allow pictures of their students up and have only parents allowed as "followers" to the page. I could post pictures, videos, and update it regularly. Our school has teacher websites, but they are a PITA. There is no space to upload pictures or videos and it takes forever to load. Has anyone tried a Facebook parent page? Likes? Dislikes?
Take risks! How are you going to know what your students can do if you don't push them to the limits? How will you know your limits if you don't push yourself? This is one of the million reasons why I love to read and collaborate with teachers through blogging. I love the ideas I find because I am constantly learning and trying new things. I love trying out new apps, technology, ways of teaching, and assessing ideas. Everyone learns differently so getting feedback from students is a must.
Be flexible...period...the end!
I can't even begin to tell you how many times in a year assemblies popped up, snow storms and hurricanes hit us, students were out sick, surprise observations happened, or one of our kids were sick and we had to stay home with them. Things happen...write your plans in pencil.
Eat fast! My husband is a teacher as well. We chow down during dinner before our three year old even gets one piece in her mouth. She doesn't understand why we eat so fast. When you have thirty minutes to walk to the cafe, heat your food, chat, eat your food, use the bathroom, make last minute copies, return phone calls to parents or doctors, and make it out to recess duty before getting yelled at by the lunch ladies for being late, you learn to swallow food whole!
Love your job! Not everyone is cut out to be a teacher. I got my job mid year after the teacher before me was forced to resign. I was lucky to fall into the job and have been lucky ever since. If you don't love what you do, the kids will eat you alive. People can tell you love your job through your classroom, your lessons, your smile, they way you dress, and the passion in your voice. When you get down on yourself for something not going right, getting a bad review, colliding with a negative parent, having a tough student in your class, or having a problem with administration...think about why you took the job and what led you to be a teacher. Think about how lucky you are to have a job and be working with kids who worship you. That should put things back into perspective for you!
If you made it to the end...I will leave you with a funny ha ha :)